Suggestions to ease traffic, from a veteran Edsa user
Much has been said about solving the traffic in Edsa. For the longest time, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been at it. However, the traffic is worse today than it was yesterday. I am not a traffic expert, but I am an expert traffic user, so if I may make some suggestions on how to make the traffic flow better:
The first is to build as many loading and unloading areas along Edsa. This can be done by clearing the contraptions built along the sidewalks and easements in front of buildings. The idea is to have ample space for all vehicles to load and unload passengers in a single file, thereby keeping the lanes clear for traffic to pass through.
The second is to eliminate the bottlenecks. The bottlenecks exist because at several points, there are concentrations of passengers in a limited area. This is where the buses pile up two or three abreast to either unload or load passengers, hence creating the bottleneck.
Cubao is the worst bottleneck. There are 32-plus bus depots, and so numerous buses load and unload passengers there. Equally as numerous are vehicles of all kinds that stop there, too, to unload passengers who will ride the buses or load passengers who just alighted to bring them elsewhere.
The MMDA’s solution is to stop provincial buses from entering Edsa by stopping them at Valenzuela, for those coming from the north, and Sta. Rosa, for those coming from the south. The stakeholders don’t like this scheme because it is an agony for them, hence the temporary restraining order.
There must be an acceptable solution, and my suggestion is to allow the buses to enter Edsa, drop their passengers in the designated loading and unloading areas, but continue on and park outside Metro Manila, in a place of their own choice, but not in Cubao. On the return trip, they pick up passengers at the designated loading and unloading areas, then proceed to their destinations in the provinces.
The third is to build high-rise vehicle parking areas: One at the south end, another at the north end, and the last in the middle. If cars are parked there, they would not be on the road to clog traffic, and the passengers can take public transport to go elsewhere.
The fourth is to let the bus operators build and maintain their own bus depots, but relocate the depots outside Metro Manila. I believe building large bus depots within the high-traffic density areas of Metro Manila is not a good solution. Those now built can be used for car parks to reduce the number of cars on the streets.
I will stop here, so the experts can pick up the more complicated solutions from the basket and, hopefully, not create chaos once again.
ANTONIO E. SOTELO,
Armed Forces of the Philippines (Ret),
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